Bill Gates warns behaviour of tech giants may invite government intervention

Bill Gates is worried over the behavior of the biggest tech companies, which he feels, risks major government intervention. The former Microsoft CEO spelt out his concerns in an interview to Atios, tied to the Gates Foundation annual letter.

According to Gates, the companies needed to be careful their practices did not ''prevent government from being able to, under appropriate review, perform the type of functions that we've come to count on.''

He alluded to Apple's reluctance to unlock the San Bernadino terrorist's iPhone, but, according to commentators, his comments are also applicable to more recent events. In November, Facebook, Twitter, and Google had to appear at Congressional hearings on the possible manipulation of their platforms by foreign agents seeking to influence US elections.

Gates' comments carry much weight given that Microsoft was the subject of a government scrutiny by the US justice department in a landmark antitrust case when he was at the helm of the company.

When Mike Allen of Axios asked which trends scare him, Gates expressed concerns about ''how much technology is empowering a small group of people to cause damage.'' He added that while giving people access to the tools of innovation is important, he said, ''A small group can have an impact - in the case of nuclear, on millions; and in the case of bio, on billions. That is scary to me.''

Meanwhile, according to Aviv Ovadya, the man who predicted the fake-news crisis of 2016, the worst is yet to come. He predicted in a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, that the spread of fake news is likely to accelerate, with better technology that allows for propaganda and misinformation to spread, and digital tools that falsify reality and manipulate perception.

With improvements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, anyone could make it ''appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did,'' Ovadya said, Vanity Fair reported.